Is feminist scientist an oxymoron? Do we really need to push more women into coveted university slots just because they have an interest in STEM? Picture this: “One frequently cited source for the consensus is a 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and to have found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years, while none directly dissented.
“Ms. Oreskes’s definition of consensus covered “man-made” influences but left out “dangerous” – and excluded scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus. Her methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in the journal Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers – but she failed to acknowledge or address this.
“Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in Eos: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master’s thesis adviser Peter Doran. It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed “97 percent of climate scientists agree” that global temperatures have risen, and that humans are a significant contributing factor.”
What is the origin of the false belief – constantly repeated by President Obama, the media and others – that almost all scientists agree about global warming?
Claims continue to be made that “97% of scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” That’s what Secretary of State John Kerry told graduating Boston College students. It’s what President Obama said in his State of the Union address and a recent tweet.
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